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Pulse is a recurring column where we ask for readers’ takes on varying topics in a weekly survey and report back with our findings.

Last week, news broke that Anywhere had been the first of the defendants in the bombshell commission suits to reach a settlement agreement. The news had many in the industry wondering just what the company had agreed to, and who would be next to seek out a deal.

That was followed by news today that RE/MAX has also settled and promised to change its practices.


So now that they’ve started the ball rolling, we wondered about your predictions: What’s next for the bombshell commission lawsuits? Will everyone be lining up to settle? Did Anywhere get the sweetheart deal by settling early? What do you think they agreed to, and what changes are on the horizon now? Here’s your take.

Please note, most responses were submitted prior to RE/MAX’s settlement announcement on Monday.

  • Smart decision to be first. Pressure will be on for others as Anywhere may now be asked to testify. Franchisors in the weakest cash positions will be next. RE/MAX and NAR will be last, but all settle. 
  • The settlement certainly will have an impact on the cases. The defendants will either circle the wagons or look to settlement. This is entirely subject to perceived losses, plans in place to transition to a new model and restructuring current business plans/models. Without options the battle will ensue; probably for years with appeals. All organizations resist change, but change is inevitable. Either by design or force. I applaud Anywhere in embracing change; which means they have thought this through. If an industry is not adapting to the reality of forces impacting current practices, that industry will slowly fail. Organizational resistance is an organization’s tendency to resist change and want to maintain the status quo. Companies that suffer from organizational resistance become inflexible and cannot adapt to environmental or internal demands for change. 
  • Nothing good
  • Yes, the train has left the station, and others will follow. This is the most tumultuous event in the industry that will have far-reaching consequences. 
  • Jury trial
  • The others will come to the table.
  • Most defendants will have to cut their losses now and settle. The one or two defendants that don’t settle may end up having to file for bankruptcy or merge with another company. I wonder about NAR and the MLS the way we know it. This case shined a spotlight on the dark closets of the “good ol’ boy” mentality in real estate. It’s a silent arrangement that all us Realtors agree to when we sign up but not fully aware we’re potentially violating the law. When I was getting my bachelor’s degree, I took a business law class and I wrote an essay about the real estate commission structure, this was in 2001 or 2002. I argued that selling real estate should be like selling a car, seller puts their home for sale and the agent that brings the buyer gets paid. That’s it. This, of course, was before I became a licensed broker and I joined the “good ol’ boys club.” NAR and MLSs will most likely experience a huge facelift, if they remain standing, especially NAR since their bombshell sexual harassment scandal. I’m a real estate broker and I will be a real estate broker forever. I’m also a third-year law school student and I will be focusing on Real Estate Law. This bombshell case will result in major changes for all of us and we will either adapt and thrive or stick to the “good ol’ boys club” and find a new job. 
  • How will this effect South Texas?
  • The other real estate firms will settle much like Anywhere where the plaintiffs take everything but leave the companies in business and then they will go after NAR, possibly bankrupting the empire.
  • Buyer agents will have to work much harder to get hired and even harder to paid. Sellers and listing brokers will be able to negotiate hard commitments from the buyer and buyer agent in return for cooperative compensation. Buyer agents will need to offer assurances and commitments to meet seller and listing agent needs. Only those who learn how to negotiate effectively will survive. 
  • Nobody else settles, it goes to trial, we find out in the end that Anywhere made the smart move and NAR folds. 

What did we miss? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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